A 17-year-old Belgian-British teen has become the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world. Taking off from Bulgaria on March 23 when he was still 16-years-old, Mark Rutherford flew through 52 countries and five continents before breaking the record, previously held by 18-year-old Travis Ludlow from the U.K. (See video below.)
The young pilot says his "hairiest moment" came when he had to sleep "in a shed on an abandoned Pacific island while flying 11 hours across the Bering Sea, in the northern Pacific, from Japan to Alaska," according to The Guardian.
"After 10 hours, I arrived at this small island, it was starting to get dark, so I landed and it was quite low cloud, it was raining, it was getting quite dark, no lights on the runway," he said.
"It's actually an uninhabited island, so if anything had gone wrong I would be on my own, on that island, so really important that nothing went wrong. I landed there and had to sleep in a small shed on the side of the runway because it was completely abandoned for over 10 years."
He landed the Shark — "one of the fastest ultralight aircraft in the world" that can reach 186mph — back in Bulgaria today, completing his 5-month adventure. He was greeted by his family, including his sister Zara, who in January, at age 19, became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. What a family!